Hello everyone! I hope you’ve all been well since my last article. The last few days were a little frightening for me. You see, I live in the Raleigh, North Carolina area and we had some very serious storms and many tornado touch-downs this past Saturday. I am very fortunate in the sense that my family and I did not sustain any serious injuries to ourselves or our property, but sadly there are many, many people in the area who cannot say the same.
There was widespread destruction, and as of now, the death toll is at 22, over 100 injured, and thousands of people suffering property damage to their homes and businesses. This is very sad, but I must say, it could have been much worse. You see, many home owners in the southeastern states do not have basements or cellars—we are below sea level in most areas and basements/cellars are just not feasible.
When a hurricane or tornado shows its ugly head, many of us do not have anywhere below ground to go in order to wait it out. We can only seek shelter in rooms without windows and with no outside walls. This sounds easy, but it’s not. When you really think about it, do you have a room in your home with no windows and no outside wall? On top of the fact that many residents of NC live in mobile homes—which means no second floor, no interior rooms without outside walls or windows, and the possibility of the entire mobile home tipping over if the winds are strong enough.
This brings me to my point—everyone needs to prepare! Whether you live in a home that does have below ground safety, or you live in a home like mine without below ground safety, each of us needs to have an emergency plan in place. This means a radio with batteries, flashlights or battery-powered lanterns, a food and water supply, blankets, a first-aid kit, and a safe and designated place to go in your home during an emergency.
If you do not have a safe place in your home, then you need to have a plan of action set up of where you will go (friend or family members home, gymnasium, storm shelter, etc.) and you need to have an emergency bag packed to take along with you if you are fleeing your home. Go over this plan with your family so that everyone is on the same page and there is no confusion or hesitation.
My wife and I are fortunate enough to have a bathroom on the ground floor of our home with no windows and no exterior walls. This is where we would have gone if the tornadoes had been heading directly into our path. We did lose electricity due to the strong winds and rain, but I had my radio with batteries to keep me up to date on the path of these tornadoes. Luckily they never touched down near us.
The next day my wife and I drove around and were amazed at the destruction and once again counted ourselves extremely lucky. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost loved ones. I can only hope that we all learn from this experience and are better prepared the next time something like this happens.